Pelham — Volume 01
125 Pages
English
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Pelham — Volume 01

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125 Pages
English

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The Project Gutenberg EBook Pelham, Vol 1. by Edward Bulwer-Lytton #43 in our series by Edward Bulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: Pelham, Volume 1.Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7615] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on February 11, 2004]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PELHAM, V1, BY LYTTON ***This eBook was produced by David Widger PELHAMBy Edward Bulwer LyttonVOLUME I.CHAPTER I. Ou peut-on etre mieux qu'au sein de sa famille? —French Song. ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook Pelham, Vol 1. byEdward Bulwer-Lytton #43 in our series by EdwardBulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****Title: Pelham, Volume 1.
Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7615] [Yes,we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on February 11, 2004]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG***EBOOK PELHAM, V1, BY LYTTON This eBook was produced by David Widger<widger@cecomet.net>PELHAMBy Edward Bulwer LyttonVOLUME I.
CHAPTER I.             Ou peut-on etre mieux qu'au sein de safamille?                          French Song.                [Where can on be better than in thebosom of                one's family?]I am an only child. My father was the younger sonof one of our oldest earls; my mother thedowerless daughter of a Scotch peer. Mr. Pelhamwas a moderate whig, and gave sumptuousdinners; Lady Frances was a woman of taste, andparticularly fond of diamonds and old china.Vulgar people know nothing of the necessariesrequired in good society, and the credit they give isas short as their pedigree. Six years after my birth,there was an execution in our house. My motherwas just setting off on a visit to the Duchess of_____D; she declared it was impossible to gowithout her diamonds. The chief of the bailiffsdeclared it was impossible to trust them out of hissight. The matter was compromised— the bailiffmy___went with  mother to C, and was introducedas my tutor. "A man of singular merit," whisperedmy mother, "but so shy!" Fortunately, the bailiffwas abashed, and by losing his impudence he keptthe secret. At the end of the week, the diamondswent to the jeweller's, and Lady Frances worepaste.I think it was about a month afterwards that a
sixteenth cousin left my mother twenty thousandpounds. "It will just pay off our most importunatecreditors, and equip me for Melton," said Mr.Pelham."It will just redeem my diamonds, and refurnish thehouse," said LadyFrances.The latter alternative was chosen. My father wentdown to run his last horse at Newmarket, and mymother received nine hundred people in a Turkishtent. Both were equally fortunate, the Greek andthe Turk; my father's horse lost, in consequence ofwhich he pocketed five thousand pounds; and mymother looked so charming as a Sultana, thatSeymour Conway fell desperately in love with her.Mr. Conway had just caused two divorces; and ofcourse, all the women in London were dying forhim—judge then of the pride which Lady Francesfelt at his addresses. The end of the season wasunusually dull, and my mother, after having lookedover her list of engagements, and ascertained thatshe had none remaining worth staying for, agreedto elope with her new lover.The carriage was at the end of the square. Mymother, for the first time in her life, got up at sixo'clock. Her foot was on the step, and her handnext to Mr. Conway's heart, when sheremembered that her favourite china monster andher French dog were left behind. She insisted onreturning—re-entered the house, and was coming
down stairs with one under each arm, when shewas met by my father and two servants. Myfather's valet had discovered the flight (I forgethow), and awakened his master.When my father was convinced of his loss, hecalled for his dressing- gown—searched the garretand the kitchen—looked in the maid's drawers andthe cellaret—and finally declared he wasdistracted. I have heard that the servants werequite melted by his grief, and I do not doubt it inthe least, for he was always celebrated for his skillin private theatricals. He was just retiring to venthis grief in his dressing-room, when he met mymother. It must altogether have been an awkwardrencontre, and, indeed, for my father, a remarkablyunfortunate occurrence; for Seymour Conway wasimmensely rich, and the damages would, no doubt,have been proportionably high. Had they met eachother alone, the affair might easily have beensettled, and Lady Frances gone off in tranquillity;—those d—d servants are always in the way!I have, however, often thought that it was betterfor me that the affair ended thus,—as I know, frommany instances, that it is frequently exceedinglyinconvenient to have one's mother divorced.I have observed that the distinguishing trait ofpeople accustomed to good society, is a calm,imperturbable quiet, which pervades all theiractions and habits, from the greatest to the least:they eat in quiet, move in quiet, live in quiet, andlose their wife, or even their money, in quiet; while
low persons cannot take up either a spoon or anaffront without making such an amazing noiseabout it. To render this observation good, and toreturn to the intended elopement, nothing fartherwas said upon that event. My father introducedConway to Brookes's, and invited him to dinnertwice a week for a whole twelvemonth.Not long after this occurrence, by the death of mygrandfather, my uncle succeeded to the title andestates of the family. He was, as people justlyobserved, rather an odd man: built schools forpeasants, forgave poachers, and diminished hisfarmers' rents; indeed, on account of these andsimilar eccentricities, he was thought a fool bysome, and a madman by others. However, he wasnot quite destitute of natural feeling; for he paid myfather's debts, and established us in the secureenjoyment of our former splendour. But this pieceof generosity, or justice, was done in the mostunhandsome manner; he obtained a promise frommy father to retire from Brookes's, and relinquishthe turf; and he prevailed upon my mother to takean aversion to diamonds, and an indifference tochina monsters.
CHAPTER II.                   Tell arts they have no soundness,                      But vary by esteeming;                   Tell schools they want profoundness,                      And stand too much on seeming.                   If arts and schools reply,                   Give arts and schools the lie.                                 —The Soul's Errand.At ten years old I went to Eton. I had beeneducated till that period by my mother, who, beingdistantly related to Lord_____, (who had published"Hints upon the Culinary Art"), imagined shepossessed an hereditary claim to literarydistinction. History was her great forte; for she hadread all the historical romances of the day, andhistory accordingly I had been carefully taught.I think at this moment I see my mother before me,reclining on her sofa, and repeating to me somestory about Queen Elizabeth and Lord Essex; thentelling me, in a languid voice, as she sank backwith the exertion, of the blessings of a literarytaste, and admonishing me never to read abovehalf an hour at a time for fear of losing my health.Well, to Eton I went; and the second day I hadbeen there, I was half killed for refusing, with all thepride of a Pelham, to wash tea-cups. I wasrescued from the clutches of my tyrant by a boynot much bigger than myself, but reckoned the
best fighter, for his size, in the whole school. Hisname was Reginald Glanville: from that period, webecame inseparable, and our friendship lasted allthe time he stayed at Eton, which was within a yearof my own departure for Cambridge.His father was a baronet, of a very ancient andwealthy family; and his mother was a woman ofsome talent and more ambition. She made herhouse one of the most recherchee in London.Seldom seen at large assemblies, she was eagerlysought after in the well winnowed soirees of theelect. Her wealth, great as it was, seemed the leastprominent ingredient of her establishment. Therewas in it no uncalled for ostentation—no purse-proud vulgarity—no cringing to great, and nopatronizing condescension to little people; even theSunday newspapers could not find fault with her,and the querulous wives of younger brothers couldonly sneer and be silent."It is an excellent connexion," said my mother,when I told her of my friendship with ReginaldGlanville, "and will be of more use to you thanmany of greater apparent consequence.Remember, my dear, that in all the friends youmake at present, you look to the advantage youcan derive from them hereafter; that is what wecall knowledge of the world, and it is to get theknowledge of the world that you are sent to apublic school."I think, however, to my shame, thatnotwithstanding my mother's instructions, very few
prudential considerations were mingled with myfriendship for Reginald Glanville. I loved him with awarmth of attachment, which has since surprisedeven myself.He was of a very singular character: he used towander by the river in the bright days of summer,when all else were at play, without any companionbut his own thoughts; and these were tinged, evenat that early age, with a deep and impassionedmelancholy. He was so reserved in his manner,that it was looked upon as coldness or pride, andwas repaid as such by a pretty general dislike. Yetto those he loved, no one could be more open andwarm; more watchful to gratify others, moreindifferent to gratification for himself: an utterabsence of all selfishness, and an eager and activebenevolence were indeed the distinguishing traitsof his character. I have seen him endure with acareless goodnature the most provoking affrontsfrom boys much less than himself; but directly I, orany other of his immediate friends, was injured oraggrieved, his anger was almost implacable.Although he was of a slight frame, yet earlyexercise had brought strength to his muscles, andactivity to his limbs; and his skill in all athleticexercises whenever (which was but rarely) hedeigned to share them, gave alike confidence andsuccess to whatever enterprise his lion-likecourage tempted him to dare.Such, briefly and imperfectly sketched, was thecharacter of Reginald Glanville—the one, who of allmy early companions differed the most from
myself; yet the one whom I loved the most, andthe one whose future destiny was the mostintertwined with my own.I was in the head class when I left Eton. As I wasreckoned an uncommonly well-educated boy, itmay not be ungratifying to the admirers of thepresent system of education to pause here for amoment, and recal what I then knew. I could maketwenty Latin verses in half an hour; I couldconstrue, without an English translation, all theeasy Latin authors, and many of the difficult ones,with it: I could read Greek fluently, and eventranslate it though the medium of a Latin version atthe bottom of the page. I was thought exceedinglyclever, for I had only been eight years acquiring allthis fund of information, which, as one can neverrecal it in the world, you have every right tosuppose that I had entirely forgotten before I wasfive and twenty. As I was never taught a syllable ofEnglish during this period; as when I onceattempted to read Pope's poems, out of schoolhours, I was laughed at, and called "a sap;" as mymother, when I went to school, renounced her owninstructions; and as, whatever school-masters maythink to the contrary, one learns nothing now-a-days by inspiration: so of everything which relatesto English literature, English laws, and Englishhistory (with the exception of the said story ofQueen Elizabeth and Lord Essex,) you have thesame right to suppose that I was, at the age ofeighteen, when I left Eton, in the profoundestignorance.